Over a lakh of the organisation’s followers had arrived in Mumbai for a clean up drive in collaboration with BMC under the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, but in many places, heaps of garbage they gathered remained uncollected by the civic body
Efforts by Dera Sacha Sauda followers on Tuesday, to clean streets in Churchgate and Fort as part of their cleanliness drive in collaboration with the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation under Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, were in vain due to the insufficient staff and machinery of the civic body, as the heaps of garbage they gathered remained uncollected.
The garbage gathered by Dera Sacha Sauda followers was left uncollected by the BMC at several places for long periods of time
Over a lakh followers of Dera Sacha Sauda, the social welfare and spiritual organisation, from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, MP, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Gujarat etc had arrived to clean up Mumbai. They were to clean various areas in Andheri, BKC, Dahisar, Kurla, Worli and Matunga, etc.
The BMC had identified 227 spots for them. But this reporter found that BMC staff had not cleared the garbage gathered by them, in some places even until evening. Over 100 followers of Dera Sacha Sauda spiritual guru, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh from Rajasthan were to clean up Churchgate and Fort.
They started cleaning around Churchgate station by 11 am. But later, heaps of garbage gathered by them in Azad Maidan and Fashion Street were seen lying uncollected. Later, this reporter walked around CST and found more such heaps of garbage gathered by the followers and left uncollected by the civic body.
“Areas around Bombay Hospital, Gateway of India, Churchgate, CST and Azad Maidan were taken up for cleaning. In many places there were no civic vehicles to dump the garbage, so we made heaps of it and left them in one corner,” said Dharmendra, one of the members of the group.
“At many places our people helped put garbage in vehicles, since no BMC employees were present. More than one lakh people participated in this clean up drive in Mumbai,” said Lakhjeet, coordinator of Dera Sacha Sauda.
“As at a time more than one lakh people were involved in the clean up drive, it was not possible to provide staff and vehicles at every place,” said an officer from the Solid Waste Management Department.
Seema Redkar, the BMC officer in charge of the drive, said however, “We have covered all the places and removed the garbage. They were cleaning at 227 spots and at each spot we had appointed three BMC staff members and one vehicle to clean the garbage.”